The days of keyword stuffing are long gone. Google’s series of algorithm updates, most of them named after fake animals, have been ensured.
However, this is not a problem that many writers, designers and webmasters deal with on a daily basis. The issue is whether web content should be written primarily for people or is a question of generating search engine traffic.
This is important if you want a conversion, because you need to attract the right traffic.
In fact, one way to increase your conversion rate is to reduce you traffic numbers. Seems like a bad move, I know, but if you’re only likely to attract traffic, your conversion rate will go through the roof.
Let us see how you can approach SEO and your web content to do this.
Problem with search engine
In an ideal world, the search engine would order content based on the question that the person doing the search is actually asking. Unfortunately, it is difficult for search engine algorithms to do two things well:
The average search engine query is only one or two words, so the intention is not always clear.
Long queries often contain stop words and / or “marks” necessary to indicate an exact-match search.
Funnily enough, a search engine that actively tried to measure these issues in the 90s / 00s encouraged the use of full queries — ask Jeeves — to look like other search engines Has been prepared afresh.
Writing with search engine in mind is a must have
This all means that, like it or not, “writing with search engines in mind” is still a thing that people need to do. Or at least some people think they need to do.
Unfortunately, the majority of desirable words are too difficult to fit into a single piece of copy. Explain that a business wants to target the term “car dealership North Dakota”. The number of times you use punctuation marks can fit that phrase.
There are hundreds of dealerships in North Dakota, but you can find hands-on service on any of them, just like us!”
… before it becomes clear what you are doing.
But with search engines generating such a large percentage of web traffic, it is very easy to understand why people press on as they do so. I need to explain why there may be very few points of doing this.
The case for writing for human
Some brand and business owners are still surprised when I tell them that the use of keywords is only part of the SEO strategy. When I tell them that they are more surprised than this, there is not even a particularly large part of it.
We can see from the chart above, borrowed from Moz.com, that more than 50% of the pages are determined by external factors of the website. We also know that these factors are very difficult to influence. That is why the conversation comes back time and time again.
However, it is clear from the chart above that writing relevant, high-quality content, such as this, is no more important than meeting the more technical requirements of SEO.
A closer look at search engine traffic
In 2011, Catapult SEO conducted a study to see how people perform once they reach Google’s results page. You can download the white paper yourself, but the following conclusions are the most relevant to the point I’m trying to make:
The number-one spot in Google’s search results accounts for 18.2% of all clicks
Second place gets 10.1%
Takes third place 7.2%
Spot number four receives 4.8%
All others get less than 2%
The top five to ten spots in Google for short-tailed queries – and, by far, also very long-tailed queries – have already been taken by sites that receive thousands of hits and shares per month. Except for going viral or some black-hat wizarding, it is impossible for the average person to displace any of these sites.
In that case, base your content around keywords and nothing else, which is not the smartest way to generate search traffic.
Do you need a content strategy? (Spoiler: yes)
The phrase “content strategy” becomes very much these days, and consequently it has ended with a bad name. But let’s think about why a content strategy is really necessary.
Websites are like that field in Field of Dreams — build it, and they will come. I know this, because I have created sites that now attract thousands of visitors each month, focusing too much on a set of highly interlinked keywords that are too competitive to crack Search engines generate enough traffic to get into a steady flow without.
To do this, I used the following guidelines: